Jenny Zhang

I’m alone. I’m alone again, a solitary figure thinking
ever after of you, for you are the love of Ophelia’s life,
of you, and the ownership of daughters in a maze, the
race question, the class system when in Rome. You
either love me, or you don’t. You either care for me
or you don’t. Once my flesh was a prize, now I’m older,
wiser, but what to do with this knowledge, there’s no
exit out of this soldiering on, sleeping alone, waking
alone, and I’m surrounded by star-people who work
miracles on me. I trust so hard, I let the sun go down
on me, summers are cold, winters are cold, they whisper
of their neuroses to me, and I’m asking for forgiveness,
and I’m asking to be loved, and I’m asking you to fall
in love with me if you dare, she’s transformed into
      matter, particles, atoms, molecules, air, Norma Jean
and Marilyn, and I can’t accept anything that is less than
love, or reading the wonderland-feeling of your body, and
I think of your gravity, meeting my gravity, your air
meeting my outspoken lips, my hair, my shoulders, and
I want to bring you down, give you all the love that I
can give, instead I’m sleeping alone, and you’re with her,
you’re with the love of your life, and I only fell asleep
in the early hours of the morning, the night was hell to
tell you the truth, because you weren’t here if you want
to know. I’ve been listening to Coldplay the entire
morning, trying not to think of you kissing the love of
your life, while I’m here on my own. You think you
know me, you think you’ve fallen in love, but I’m ghost.
      I’m fattened ghost, self-conscious ghost, it feels like it
did when I was little. I miss you waking up in the morning.
I’m not intimidated by your lady friends anymore, just
scared-competent. You can love whomever you want,
show me mercy, show me grace, make me cry because
you’re so good at doing that to me anyway, and this funny
woman loves you so much, would do anything for you.
And then I woke up as if from a grassroots-dream, glee,
fragile, how to live without you, this fire catching fire,
and I think of the journey and direction of the mis-
understood flame, and everything is psychological guess-
work, my jealousy is magnificent, my love is abundant
and needs permission from you to exist, all I have is this
organic depression, this pilgrimage. Delete all of that.

Abigail George is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated South African essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist.

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